By Daniel Cox | Instagram
What is a Shaman?
A shaman is a walker between the worlds, having one foot in the here and now, the mundane world, and one in the other world, the hidden realms. A shaman is a conduit between spirit and matter, a healer, a seer, a priest, a mystic and a sage. The term “shaman” comes from the Tungus tribe of Siberia and has come to represent spiritual and ritual leaders within indigenous cultures. Having recently begun my path into witchcraft, I can see now that an easier way to describe a shaman is as a hedge rider, with a little more formality to it.
‘Paqo’ (a shaman of the Inca tradition, and how I am trained) roughly translates as ‘mystic’. A Paqo is a healer, a priest of the Inca tradition. The Qero, the descendants of the Inca, strongly believe that their healers and future priests will be born into the western world, to those who have made the greatest impact on the world. They will have the guardianship and responsibility to bring balance to the world, bringing it into ayni, or, right relationship with the world and the universe/God.
Well, that was what sold it to me to be honest.
My training as Paqohas given me the skills and abilities to sense, see, hear and know the hidden realms and those who live among them.
And for that, I am truly grateful.
The Medicine Wheel
I started off doing some smaller, though lifechanging, workshops, then moved on to the big one, the medicine wheel, where I would eventually be awarded the qualification as shamanic practitioner.
The wheel was divided up into quarters. Each quarter was six days of intense training. Each day, I woke up at six am to get dressed quickly, gather my stuff and meet in the grand hall where we would practise our fire breathing, followed by breakfast. The first three days were spent indulging in personal healing, which is crucial in healing others. If you can’t heal yourself, how on earth are you expected to heal others?
The Southern Path
During the Southern training, we learned how to unhook ourselves from our past and ancestral wounding. Hatun Amaru, ‘Great Serpent,’ a water boa named Sachamama teaches us to connect to the physical body, the earth, to reality.
We learned how to shed our past and our DNA the way a serpent sheds her skin, all in one piece. We learned the illumination process, a process where soul wounds are combusted with fire.
We were given new eyes to see with the heart. We were given an armoury of elements, and archetypal beings were sewn into each of our chakras. Serpent, jaguar, hummingbird, condor, and then three archangels; Huascar Inca, Quetzalcoatl and Pachacutti Inca. I also gained the first of our three kuya.
The Westlin Winds
During the Western path, we connected with our ancestors, bringing them into our bodies so we could hear them speak directly to us. It reminded me of the film Ghost, when Oda Mae experienced an entity possessing her body, except we invited them in.
I learned how to remove trapped entities from our luminous energy fields and send them on. Sometimes this is peaceful, emotional, sweet even, other times it’s a little like Poltergeist. Entities can and do get stuck in this world, although mostly they are stuck within a human host rather than a building.
I learned how to remove foreign crystalline objects from our energy-fields, injuries from forgotten past lives. Here we go back in time and mend past traumas and end generational curses.
Hatun Puma, Otorongol, sister jaguar who witnessed the birth and death of galaxies sits with us here. She is the mirror to our souls. We looked death in the face and knew that it was not the end. We went deeply into our emotional bodies and freed ourselves from our fears.
The next three kuya were added to our mesas, andI was joined to the lineage of the Pampamesayoc, those who built the stone circles and the great pyramids of the world, the gatekeepers and altar keepers.
The Northern Way
The Northern path is the hero’s journey. Overseen by the royal hummingbird, Siwa Kinti, we learned the ancient art of soul journeying. Here, we received the mini death rites, for only those who have died and come back can enter the upper and lower worlds and take back what needs to be brought back.
When trauma occurs, a piece of the soul splinters off. It is healed, whole and contains an aspect of you for safekeeping. When we journey for soul retrieval, we can witness the original wounding, clearing it. We can integrate missing quantum pieces of energy that often contain a gift and a power animal. These pieces will bring the biggest healing you could imagine.
Three more stones were added to my mesa, but there was a twist to this tale I am unable to tell. I was joined to the lineage of the Altomesayoc, those who stepped outside of time and space and live in the eternal now. Those who mulch the wisdom of the stars and share this wisdom with their communities. I know this was the seed planted that enabled me to channel gods, spirits and crows.
The Eastern path is the path of transcendence. Here, Apuchin the condor oversees our work.
The east was one of the most profound and traumatising experiences of my life.
I learnt the art of sending souls home, the art of the psychopomp. To do this, we had to practise with each other. I had to die to who I once was.
I wrote my eulogy and laid down on the bed surrounded by flowers with my loved ones by my side. I spoke to each of them in this sacred drama. The excruciating pain, trauma, loss and grief–it was all so real. After my eulogy was read, I was lifted out of my body and sent away, then brought back.
The final three kuya were added to my mesa, and the final thirteenth stone, the lineage stone was gifted to me by my teacher, sealed with blood.During the final rite, I was given wings to fly with the Kurak Acullak, the earth angels who hold us, and the grace to co-create our world.
A Continued Path
Now, I am on a path that is uncharted, walking a path that has not really been explored or created. A path that incorporates a holy mesa with traditional witchcraft, an animistic, shamanic witch.
There is a saying among the Q’ero – In Lak’etch – I am another you. You and I are God, masquerading as you and I.
About the Author: Though he is trained as a P’aqo, a shaman of the Inca tradition, Daniel is more of an animist, with a focus on traditional European witchcraft. Through life-changing events in childhood and near-death experiences, he sees life through a different lens. He is a soon-to-be author, artist of the sacred, bone reader, seer, and channel. Daniel lives with his husband Tom and their son Kai.